"Master vocalist" Dawn Upshaw is among 24 "geniuses" awarded half a million bucks by the MacArthur Foundation today. Back from a break to treat her breast cancer, Upshaw says she hopes that "a lot of amazing music comes from it. Maybe new pieces with young singers." Other so-called "Genius Grant" recipients include a playwright, a geographer and an installation artist.
Winners range in age and continued the trend of champs coming from New York State. Playwright Lynn Nottage of Brooklyn, 1 of 11 women to win this year, says the grant gives her “freedom to explore” after years of working to “eke out a living.” Awarded for vision and promise, winners are free to spend the money as they please, the Chicago Tribune reports.